Thor: Ragnarok

I went to see this movie on Friday with Mrs. Hatboy. Long story short, I thought it was great and enjoyed it all the way through. As much as I believe there’s some merit to the “add complaints to balance” argument, I think it’s a false argument that lends far too much weight to the complaints if the movie is an overall positive experience.

It is, if I can go off on a slight tangent, a close sibling to the “intellectual” exercise of giving two opposing viewpoints comparable time of day in any sort of debate. Even if one viewpoint is wrong, insane, downright evil, a minuscule minority or all of the above. Giving them a “balanced” weighting makes the latter seem way more valid than it should. So, even though this is just a trivial movie review, I’m not going there.

I’m going to be lazy here, and just let Comic Book Girl 19 tell you all the stuff I loved about this movie.


Yes, I thought it was great. I chuckled and laughed all the way through and I was exhilarated and interested throughout. It was just plain fun. It all clicked together, it was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to see, and the story was solid. And yes, it had a great ending.

I will also be lazy and throw the Red Letter Media review in, because it once again covers a lot of the stuff I liked and also outlines the usual “well, it’s a Marvel crowd-pleaser so the plot and general structure won’t contain any surprises and may be a bit dull for the jaded cinema-goer” that seems to constitute a criticism these days.

So there, there’s a couple of solid half-hours you can spend watching and/or listening to my basic opinion of this movie. I listened to them on my phone during my morning and afternoon commutes. Well worth the time.

I wasn’t upset by the “formulaic” or “cookie cutter” elements of the plot here. There was a couple of decent bad guys, an interesting series of scenes and settings, a good motivation and a nice ending. Like Deadpool, there’s nothing really wrong with a safe and well-established storytelling formula, not if you put the right decoration on top. In fact, I would argue it goes far beyond decoration. They’ve fundamentally shifted the assumed premise of the entire multiverse, changing the game dramatically. This isn’t just frosting on the usual cake. They’ve changed the cake right down to the base ingredients, while maintaining the necessary ratios to have it remain a cake. And also delicious.

I will say that anyone who is put off by the weird and wacky and wonderful direction Marvel is taking their universe, with Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy set being prime examples, may not enjoy this movie because it goes hurtling and rolling and laughing maniacally in that same direction and completely vanishes over the previously-established horizon. So if you don’t like the way the movies have been embracing the source material more and more (I mean, you know these are comic book movies, right, and the comic books were massively weirder and more psychedelic than these movies?), then stick to the really safe stuff. But keep in mind, this is it for Marvel. This is the way they’re going and I don’t think they’re going to be able to rein it back in for the Infinity War set. That would be truly nonsensical.

In the same vein, a lot of the jokes were either slightly overdone, or telegraphed to a point where I didn’t need them to actually finish them. They might have been better simply implied, or at best punchlined once and then we could move on. But maybe that’s a symptom of the audience, and this condescension is intended for wider age groups and cultures and all that. It’s fine.


Choice, bro.

The rest of the humour, especially the surreal stuff with Korg (well played, Mr. Waititi), was fantastic. Again I’m not sure how universal the appeal will be, but you can’t have it both ways. It’s either inaccessible, or it’s cookie-cutter. I think this movie walked that line perfectly, so I will not be levelling either criticism against it. And of course the movie needed more Jeff Goldblum. But – as Half in the Bag says – what movie doesn’t?

That’s my review this time. I loved this movie and can’t wait to see it again.

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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10 Responses to Thor: Ragnarok

  1. brknwntr says:

    Again you say? Shall we pencil that in?

    • stchucky says:

      Aw. I should clarify that I meant DVD / Blu-ray.

      I’ll have spare time and money for Justice Aquaman Woo, but not likely another movie this month. I’m just plain broke and out of time, with the Christmas trip approaching. Sorry.

    • stchucky says:

      Also I know you were sorta-kinda-joking-not-joking, but I wanted to give you a legit reply. It’s looking like no can do on this one, fun though it was (and would be).

  2. aaronthepatriot says:

    Cool! The more I see about this one, the more I’m sure I’ll like it.

    Because I resemble your remarks about not liking the wackier side of Marvel’s movies, let me just assert (again?) that I fucking loved Doctor Strange. I might even like GotG2…the problem was that I felt they made it all up as they went along in GotG(1). I hate that. I am ok with a deus ex machina, but I’m not ok with EVERY problem throughout a movie seeming to be resolved through one.

    I’m sure my perception of this is due to my not being familiar with those characters. And yet somehow it didn’t happen in other Marvel movies where I was meeting a character who was new to me. There was something different about GotG in this regard.

    Now…I’ve met the main characters and have some idea what they can do. So I’m sure the sequel will work for me.

    • stchucky says:

      I’ll happily grant that I’m uncertain how the GotG characters really work. They seem to be invincible. But I’m happy to go along with it.

      It sort of speaks to some of our other discussions where you wanted to know what the “strength” heirarchy was between human, Molran, Damorak, Damorakind, aki’Drednanth, Ogre… and fair enough too. It’s useful to see where they all fit.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        I take quite a lot of pleasure from understanding a universe, or whatever you might call each story’s setting. I feel a bit off when I don’t. At least, when I don’t for longer than I think is acceptable. Obviously I’m not afraid to go in to a movie or book knowing little, as I said. But that feeling can’t last too long or I get annoyed.

    • Well, I was wrong. I didn’t really enjoy this movie much. I think it is best described by the comment you made about the jokes. I expected more hilarity, but instead I found telegraphed juvenile jokes. It also seemed to move REALLY slowly. At one point my wife was checking her watch over and over again, so I looked at the clock and only 1 hour had gone by. It felt like 2.

      I’m starting to be concerned I’m outgrowing the Marvel movies. This better not be the case, damnit. Infinity War, save me! Maybe I just don’t like the humor here (and GotG1/2), but I did enjoy Dr. Strange and Deadpool and still do. So *shrug*

      I really am shocked at how little I enjoyed this one.

      • stchucky says:

        Bummer. I just watched it again with Wump and enjoyed it even more than the first time. I enjoyed Doctor Strange, but I enjoyed this more.

        To be fair, though, like Valerian this movie is very much in my particular idiom.

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